Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and mayoral challenger Jesus "Chuy" Garcia met for their final debate Tuesday ahead of the April 7 runoff election.
Issues surrounding the city's finances dominated the heated mayoral debate, broadcasted on WTTW Channel 11's Chicago Tonight.
Later in the debate, moderator and Chicago Tonight host Phil Ponce triggered jeers from the audience when he pressed Garcia about allegations that his son was a gang member.
"If you can't keep your own son out of a gang, how can you steer the city away from gangs and violence?" Ponce asked.
"My son learned from his mistakes. He turned his life around," Garcia said.
Emanuel interjected, telling Ponce, "I actually don't think this is a fair line of questioning. We're both fathers..." But Ponce cut the mayor off and continued with his line of questioning.
Emanuel did take the opportunity during the debate to accuse Garcia of leaving the nonprofit Enlace Chicago, where Garcia formerly served as executive director, with a deficit. Garcia responded that the organization faced challenges during the Great Recession, but it remains in sound financial health.
Garcia noted that "there was a deficit" at Enlace Chicago, "but no one missed a paycheck, no one was laid off, we didn't borrow any money." He called the Enlace deficit "peanuts" when compared to the money borrowed by the city under Emanuel's watch and next year's projected deficit. "That's real money."
Garcia also claimed that the mayor "ushered in the Great Recession" during his time on the Freddie Mac board.
"Single-handedly, I ushered in the recession," Emanuel said. "Only you and my mother think that."